Work matters. Next to family and health, work is often the most important thing in an individual’s life. It provides a livelihood, is an outlet for passion, and drives purpose and happiness. Few decisions have a greater impact on the shape of our lives than our career choices.
But finding the right job (or hiring the right employee) is fraught with challenges. The odds have been historically stacked against finding the best fit. Unequal access to job information, human biases, pressures for immediate income (or the need to fill a job), and the inefficiency of old processes are a few of the hundreds of reasons why people end up in the wrong job.
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These are complex problems to solve, though the internet and AI technologies have begun to fundamentally change the way people hire and search for jobs. A single goal of aggregating all the jobs for use with an easy-to-use search engine has changed the way information is disseminated and gone a long way toward democratizing access to jobs. While providing visibility to millions of jobs is a great start, how does a candidate find the best jobs relevant to their circumstances?
Finding the best-fit jobs
Matching individuals with the right jobs is the Holy Grail of HR and recruiting. More data for job seekers and employers leads to better matches, and, if used carefully, can help eliminate human bias. Data from job search behavior, millions of resumes and reviews, and other sources are used to train algorithms to predict which jobs are the best fit for a job query, personalize the job search results, and protect job seekers from redundant and fraudulent activity during the job search process.
Predict. By overlaying historical behavioral data with insights into labor market trends, the task of matching searches with specific jobs becomes easier. Behind the scenes, AI can work together with human supervision to improve the job seeker experience. And while job descriptions are often ambiguous and sparse, algorithms can fill in the blanks — estimate salaries, classify unusual job titles, and make many other predictions to show only relevant jobs to job seekers. For example, if someone searches for a “software engineer,” having the right algorithm could also show results for jobs that are looking for “coding wizards.”
Personalize. Data in resumes and job descriptions are unstructured — these documents are text heavy and have little consistent structure — which makes them difficult for computers to digest. AI’s natural language processing can extract critical information that paints a personal picture of what a candidate desires or can make the requirements of a job description available as a checklist the system can process. These AI techniques provide contextual clues to provide personalized search results that match the job seeker’s goals and experience.
Protect. Keeping the job seeker safe from scams and protecting personal data is unquestionably a requirement in today’s world. AI helps manage this process using signals to identify and eliminate poor quality sites, posts, and scams.
AI beyond matching
AI will be embedded in every product in the recruiting field. From recommending the best job to apply for, to telling an employee the best time to ask for a raise, to avoiding the human biases in assessing candidates, AI is changing everything. For example, resumes are a very narrow picture of a candidate; a new technology called automated assessments offers the opportunity to see how a candidate can perform a job.
Here’s how automated assessments can help. A large contact center in the EU needed to source seven different languages in one location. The center received thousands of applicants per month, each needing to schedule an interview with a language specialist.
The employer turned to AI-powered language proficiency assessments. Now, candidates receive a call as they are applying and talk to an AI conversation agent in the target language for about 10 minutes. That conversation then gets automatically analyzed for ease of communication and fluency — a vastly better experience for both candidates and employers.
People own the hiring process
AI can help identify the best potential hires out of millions of resumes, but the final decision relies on human connections.
No one would buy a house sight unseen from a Zillow posting. Potential buyers have to walk in and decide if they can and want to live there. AI can bring job seeker and employer together, but making the decision on whether the fit is right remains a very human endeavor. Recruiting technology powered by AI gives recruiters back the time to make human connections, instill trust, and inspire the loyalty needed to attract and retain employees in today’s rapidly changing world.